Technology Considerations for the Avaya Roadmap

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Michael Ely, VP TechnologySince Avaya/Nortel announced their product roadmap, it has given both key stakeholders and the market the opportunity to step back and examine what this means for their businesses. While there are myriad technological implications now and in the future, following is the Aspect perspective on a few of the issues that seem of greatest interest based on market feedback.

SIP – Businesses have long known the importance of session initiation protocol (SIP), which Avaya now is embracing, too. SIP brings dynamic capabilities that Aspect has long recognized as essential to elevating the customer experience.  SIP reduces complexities across your contact center by delivering a common protocol that connects all the people, processes, systems, and applications that support the communications infrastructure.  In doing so, it increases flexibility, interoperability, and scalability, and opens the gate to a whole host of new applications that can help to enhance agent productivity and improve customer service, while at the same time allowing retention of existing infrastructure investments.

The issue, however, is that focusing on SIP is relatively new to the Avaya roadmap. Customers and prospects should look for a SIP interoperability policy from Avaya in order to fully understand the implications of leveraging proprietary SIP applications. Contact centers should carefully vet the levels of additional charges could be required to SIP-enable existing switches to work directly with the Aura environment. The alternative is that they will continue with their TSAPI computer telephony integration (CTI) solution – which should be displaced by IP-based integration – without fully leveraging a SIP backbone. Thus, Avaya-Nortel customers may not be able to standardize their contact center applications on a multi-vendor hardware infrastructure. Aspect has long recognized the importance of standards-based solutions in that they do not lock organizations in to proprietary applications or hardware as they look to enhance and upgrade as needed to address business objectives.  

Unified Communications and Collaboration – Avaya has not yet outlined a specific strategy related to bringing unified communications and collaboration capabilities to their Aura platform. This has implications for Nortel customers who’ve developed strategies around Microsoft technology, and should raise some questions from those who are still forming their unified communications plans. Customers who’ve planned around Microsoft technologies should ask whether the Aura communications backbone will enable them to leverage Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) as a unified communications infrastructure – or will they have to start over with a new unified communications platform?  In addition, companies should compare the number of components and communications infrastructure complexities of an Aura and if it will provide the key unified communications functionality and office integration that Microsoft OCS provides.  They need to examine if it will be a redundant component complicating management and if it will increase the cost compared to a rich OCS deployment.

What are your thoughts about the future of the Avaya roadmap?  Are there other important technology considerations?

Other opinions on the Avaya/Nortel roadmap can be found at:

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Michael Ely, VP Technology R&D

Michael Ely leads the Aspect Architecture team pursuing leading edge technology research including Big Data, Internet of Things, Distributed Cloud Computing, Natural Language Processing and Media Services.He consults on analyst briefings, marketing direction and product roadmap while supporting sales in designing and presenting solutions for unique customer environments and integrations. Michael has more than seventeen years of expertise defining and developing Voice over IP (VoIP) solutions for contact centers and holds patents in call center communications over packet-based networks.
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